CV / About / Bio / FAQ

If you want to download a copy of my CV, click this link.

If you prefer the blah, blah, blah version, keep reading.

Okay, so, as you maybe learned on the home page, I work in evolutionary theory, I write poetry, I blog, and I cartoon. You may be asking, what’s up with that? Aren’t those different things? Yes. Yes they are.

The fact that my interests are so varied is a big part of the reason I founded the Ronin Institute, so that I could continue to pursue my work without concerns like, “how is this going to be perceived by my colleagues in the [department name] Department.”

In fact, as far as I am concerned, all of these things are very much part of the same overall program. It’s a sort of pretentious sounding program, but the fact is, I believe my job in life is to figure out and say things that are true. Some true things lend themselves to being communicated as scientific journal articles, some as blog posts, some as poems, and some as comics.

It is difficult to point to anything more specific than the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things, which is the department I would be in if the Ronin Institute had departments.

Look around the website. Maybe you’ll be able to see the connection.



I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where I graduated from high school in 1988. I went to college at Harvard, where I studied Physics. During that time, I did a year at the University of Lancaster in England (where I studied various non-Physics things), and I graduated from Harvard in January of 1993.

I lived in Berkeley for a few months, and then returned to Los Alamos, where I found a job working in a Biochemistry lab on G-protein-coupled signal transduction in the eye and on extending blood storage. While I was there, I worked for Mark Bitensky, Barry Willardson, and Tatsuro Yoshida, published a few papers, and took a number of Biology classes, picking up all of the basic Biology and Biochemistry that I did not learn as a Physics major.

In 1996, I started graduate school in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, where I worked in the laboratory of Ron Raines. Sometime in there, I figured out that the questions I found most interesting were the evolutionary ones.

So, in 1998, I went back to Harvard in through the Biophysics program, although my home was more in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology department. I worked with John Wakeley on the population genetics of geographically structured populations and with David Haig on intragenomic conflict and the evolution of genomic imprinting. During that same time, I was part of a fantastic poetry workshop run by Jorie Graham.

I graduated in 2002, and then was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2002 to 2005 (during which time I sat in an office in the Bauer Center for Genomics Research).

In 2005, I joined the resident faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, where I worked for the next six years. During that time, I was heavily involved in developing the Postdoctoral Fellowship program (now the Omidyar Fellowship program), and I gained some additional research interests in linguistics, HIV genetics, evolution of recombination, and the relationship between robustness and epistasis.

In 2011, I moved with my family to Montclair, NJ, where I founded the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, which already includes more than forty scholars from around the world and from a wide range of disciplines. I have an ongoing affiliation with SFI as an External Professor, and an adjunct appointment in the Genetics Department at Rutgers.

In addition to continuing my various research projects (read more under the Research section), I have continued to write Poetry (my first book, Transistor Rodeo, came out in 2010). I also blog at Lost in Transcription, and produce a webcomic called Darwin Eats Cake.



Q: Where is your FAQ?

A: It’s still under construction. Check back soon.

Science, Poetry, and Current Events, where "Current" and "Events" are Broadly Construed